There is a real-life ‘ Little Mermaid’ named Zara Aleesya Saudi.
The11- year old Malaysian took part in the fin swimming competition in Sea Games 2023 at the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia on Saturday, 13th May, competing with her adult teammates in the 4×100m Surface Relay. Finishing last, the youngster was undisturbed.
She said, “First, I am very proud of my teammates. Though we finished last, it was our first time, and we gave it our best shot.
She added, ” It was an entirely new experience, training and preparing for this event, and most of all, I am small, and coming here to compete with adults was a bit strange. But then, I just told myself, “I am already here, so what else can I do? So let’s do it”.
Zara is Malaysia’s youngest athlete at the Sea Games 2023, which was quite the experience for the school girl.
She added, ” Once I got selected, I knew I had to utilize all my energy, so I had to sacrifice a lot and train hard for it.”
She added,” During Ramadan, I trained five days a week from Monday to Friday between 3 am and 5 am. Then my Hari Raya Aidilfitri(Eid) celebrations were cut. We did not return to my hometown in Kelantan this year as I had to prepare for the Sea Games 2023, but overall it was all worth it”.
Zara had only switched to fin swimming five months ago; this was her first international competition. The youngster learned to swim at age six after her parents, Mohamed Saudi Samsuddin and Haslinda Haron, wanted their only child to do something more meaningful than staring at gadgets all day. At the start of 2023, Zara took up finswimming, and now she wants more.
She added, ” Of Course, I want to focus on this and will keep working to improve with every competition.”
Besides, Zara will also participate in the 50m distance in the same discipline on Sunday (14th May).